The Sports Business Journal just released a report comparing this season’s local TV ratings for NBA teams to the ratings from last season, and one thing is clear: People like to watch LeBron James play basketball.
The Heat’s average rating is currently 5.4; that’s the third-highest average rating in the league (behind the Spurs and the Jazz, in case you were wondering), and represents a 118% ratings increase from the 09-10 season, the largest increase in the league. Meanwhile, the Cavs’ ratings have decreased by 53%, which is the largest decrease in the league. (The silver lining for Cleveland? The Cavaliers are still drawing a 4.07 average rating, which is the 7th-highest in the league.)
The Bulls, Clippers, and Timberwolves all also experienced significant ratings increases this year, although the Clippers still have the second-lowest average rating in the league. (The Nets, who draw an abysmal average rating of 0.29, are drawing the lowest ratings in the NBA.)
In terms of total households (ratings represent the percentage of households in a market watching a program, not the total number of viewers), the Lakers are the most-watched team in the league by far — an average of 278,000 households tune in to every Laker game. To provide some perspective, the Thunder, Nets, Kings, Grizzlies, Bucks, and Bobcats draw a combined average of 107,000 viewers a game.
Warriors center Anderson Varejao will miss the Rio Olympics due to a back injury.
Where will Team Brazil turn now?
Likely to Bulls center Cristiano Felicio.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Felicio came on strong late last season. He puts his 6-foot-10, 275-pound frame to good use protecting the paint and rebounding. He showed potential as passer and mid-range shooter, too.
At age 24, he’s a candidate to break out in the Olympics.
If he’s not ready, Brazil can turn to a steady veteran at center, Nene.
Blake Griffin broke his hand punching Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi in January.
Make that former Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi.
The L.A. Clippers equipment staffer who was punched in the face by Blake Griffin during a fight in Toronto earlier this year is off the team — and will NOT be back for the ’16/’17 season … TMZ Sports has learned.
We spoke with a rep for the Clippers who confirmed Matias Testi “no longer works for the team.”
The report that Kevin Durant told Russell Westbrook he’d re-sign with the Thunder before choosing the Warriors?
Royce Young of ESPN:
I misspoke in saying that Durant specifically told Westbrook he was coming back.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics for host Brazil because of a herniated disc in his lower back.
The Golden State Warriors announced the injury Wednesday and say that Varejao should be ready for the start of training camp but will not be healthy enough to play in the Olympics. Varejao recently experienced back pain while training with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins earlier this week.
Varejao averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22 games after signing with the Warriors on Feb. 22. He re-signed with the team earlier this month.